September 2006

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Living Aboard In San Diego

A Grandmother Tells Her Story

By Carol L. Allen

She’s 80 years young, and her home for the past seven years has been on her 47-foot Swanee Kinner hardtop in Chula Vista, San Diego.

And, she has thoroughly enjoyed her time in Southern California. Why? Because she had always wanted to live on a boat, because of the camaraderie she has felt with the people in her marina, and because of her helpful neighbors — neighbors like Ray and Donna Farr, who have shown her not only kindness but also have been helpful with boat advice.

However, her boat is for sale now (see AZBW Classifieds), and she plans to move on to Atlanta, Ga., near one of her sons.

Ginny Interrante moved to San Diego on New Year’s Eve in 2000 from Coco Beach, Fla. She had seen an ad for a boat that stated "condo on the water," and this intrigued her. Although that was not the boat she purchased, she did find one that fit its description — a houseboat on Lake Mead — and she brought it to San Diego.

Interrante is ready for the next stage. "My mom lived to be 100," she says, "and I need to keep busy for at least the next 20 years." It is noted, however, that she really never has retired.

This grandmother of 14 has always been busy: as a supervisor of the budget for Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida, then as a volunteer for that hospital’s education department, then as a real-estate agent and broker.

When she was widowed (her husband had been an architect) 16 years ago, Interrante said, "the wind just came out of my sails," and she left her real-estate career, moving then to Coco Beach.

Interrante is looking forward to being near her son Joe B., who lives in Atlanta. Although she says her family is very close, all of her children live in different states: Roy in Virginia, Joe B. in Georgia, Faith in Arizona, Pat in Florida, and Karl in North Carolina.

So, we wish her well. Ginny Interrante has had an experience that so many boaters would envy: living aboard. We’re glad she did.